It’s almost 11pm the night before Easter, and I’ve been binge watching The West Wing on Netflix for the past hour at my grandparents’ house. I’ve missed my family so much. Seeing them—whenever I get to see them during the school year—is a special treat. Why, then, do I miss Kenyon? The food here at my grandparents’ house is better, and I love the company of my family, and I don’t have to wear shoes in the shower, thank God. Yet I still miss Kenyon. I am beginning to realize that Kenyon is my new home.
Halfway through this semester, I fell utterly in love. I realized it the day before I left for spring break. I was in love with my friends, and my classes, and my cozy, happy dorm, and all the laughter and experiences I’d had. I was in love with Kenyon. Can you fall in love with a place? Hell yes. And I had. Kenyon is full of so many happy memories and wonderful friendships and incredible experiences. Even walking down Middle Path with a 400-pound backpack slung over my shoulders became an experience I enjoy. The 10am fire alarms after a night out became stories I couldn’t wait to tell, and the walk down to the KAC felt like an enjoyable stroll rather than a taxing trek.
I feel really free to be myself at Kenyon because I suddenly felt like I am in a place I belong—something about Kenyon just seemed right. All of my friends and all of the wonderful memories I now have tucked away in my mind and immortalized as Instagram pictures are things I will treasure forever. Even walks to the post office and a smile from a passing friend on Middle Path are things that make me super happy every day.
I like myself more here. I think I am becoming a better, more thoughtful person at Kenyon. I can be both serious and ridiculous at the same time. I began accepting new ideas, and began to give up old ones I’d harbored for much too long. And it was great! I’m better adjusted and feel much happier about life and myself in general now, and I think a big part of that is being at the right place, and that right place is Kenyon.
I remember when I first watched the film Liberal Arts (at my mom’s suggestion), my mom told me it was “kind of Josh Radnor’s love letter to Kenyon.” This stuck with me, because I hadn’t loved my high school that much at all. How could you love a place that much? Being here has taught me that you really can fall in love with a place, not just for its beautiful scenery (which Kenyon definitely has) but also because of the people, the ideas being shared, the wonderful classes, the amazing professors, and the chance to start anew.
So, as my first year here comes to a close, let me just say this: Josh Radnor, I get you. Kenyon is amazing, and I love it, too.
Image Credit: Lindy Wittenberg, Sarah Sklar